Monday, 16 January 2012

Review and Give-away

The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions.

Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman


From now on I'll refer to this as Vegan Subs to make the typing easier! I cooked from this book last week to get a good overall picture of a number of recipes, and I must say that everything I made was delicious. Would I have changed anything? yes, of course, to suit my tastes more - which you will see as we go through the recipes I made in a minute, but overall I was impressed with the total yumminess of the dishes I made. Would I recommend the book? Yes, for beginner and more experienced vegans alike. I think everyone could learn something, and find a recipe to enjoy.



The book is divided into chapters by which animal product's substitution is being discussed, and illustrated by the recipes. I like this layout and think it reads well and each chapter is complete and concise. I like how the use of the animal product is introduced, and that a table is included showing common substitutions. I especially like how a sample recipe is veganised - to be honest I would have liked to have seen more of these, especially in the Egg chapter (as eggs have so many uses in tradition baking and cooking) and the Meat chapter (different meats best suiting different subs and flavorings etc) but understand space constraints may not have made more of the sample substitution recipes possible. However, and this would be my one and only gripe with the layout, I would have liked to have seen a larger, more clearly laid out section at the end of the book listing the recipes by "meal" - in a more traditional manner - all the Breakfast Recipes listed with page references, then all the Entree recipes with page references, then Baking.... and so on (this information is available, but it is in the index. I think a clearer appendix would have suited better)


The photos are gorgeous, seriously drool worthy, and drawings are cute - appropriate and neither too many or too few. The recipes are easy to read, and follow. I only had one recipe where I thought the instructions were a little confusing, but not so much that I couldn't figure it out (and I am glad I did!).


Now, on to the recipes I made. I didn't take photos of all of them because I am a little forgetful when faced with food I just want to eat - right now! I'm going to run through these in the page order they appear.


P52 - Nacho Queso.

Super simple, and so tasty. I made a half batch and by the time I got it to table I think I'd "tasted" about 1/4 of that! Will make this one again for sure, and not just for over nachos.



P72 - Spinach and Mushroom Tofu Scramble.

Very tasty, enjoyed by us all, though as written a little salty for me. When I make again I will adjust to my taste.


P117 - Taco Meat

This is the one I found a little confusing - there are both soy- and gluten- free versions and I feel the instructions need subheadings for each. I made the soy version which was super quick, very tasty, and easy to adjust the spice level to taste.



P131 - Smoky Potato Wedges

I made a double batch as I knew we would love them, and I should have made even more. This is one that will join our "what to do with potatoes" rotation! (In photo with the Tofu Scramble above)



P177 - Curry Tofu and Arugula Salad

I was a little worried this would be too bitter, with the curry powder and arugula, but I shouldn't have. It was lovely. Simple to make and very tasty.



P178 - Quinoa and Lentil Pilaf

Not quite what I was expecting from it being called a "pilaf" but really good. Super simple, and tasty. Made a lovely lunch and I can see myself making this again and changing up the additions.

P184 - Southwestern Polenta

Comfort food completely! Oh my. This was perfect. Top with lashing of the Nacho Queso for more heaven. Takes a little longer to make but not overly so.


P189 - Amaretti Cookies

I needed a little more water than stated to get mine to hold together and actually form cookies. That can happen. These were lovely, light and tasty, and appreciated by everyone who I shared with.

P193 - Tofu Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is my cheese. The one thing I really miss being able to eat. Before being vegan I used to check restaurant menus to see if they had a Creme Brulee as dessert and then order as to leave room if they did. I liked the dish, ate it all up, and would happily eat it again.

Now, as to the giveaway part. Would you like to win a copy of Vegan Subs? (of course you would!)

This is being sponsored by the books' publisher and their requirement is that the winning entry be sent to an address in the US. I am sorry too everyone elsewhere (like me) but as they are shipping the book, they get to decide where it will be sent.


All you need to do to enter is comment on this post before 6pm (PT) Sunday 22nd January, and I will blog the winner next Monday.

38 comments:

ccdouglass said...

This book sounds great! Thanks so much for the giveaway! :-)

Shanna said...

I would love to use this book!

Jill B. said...

This book looks awesome! I would love to win it! :)

deb said...

I would love to win this book, it looks very good.

Kiki(: said...

hey I would LOVE to win this book:)

sara said...

i'd love to win this book, the recipes you tried sound great!

celyn said...

Oh, I would love to win a copy of this book! I have a copy of Hearty Vegan Meals that I really love, and I'd love the opportunity to try even more of Joni and Celine's delicious recipes.

laurelvb said...

I've been drooling over this book since it first came out. Wouldn't it be great if I had a magic wand and could just buy anything that struck my fancy? Would that make me evil? Great review and an interesting point on the egg chapter in particular. That is truly my hardest hurdle what with soy and corn allergies replacing eggs can be quite difficult. Anyway, here's hoping. :-)

kilax said...

Oh my gosh! I did not realize this book has recipes too! Awesome!

Beth said...

Oh my god, I didn't know there was a creme brulee recipe in it! I've been tinkering with vegan creme brulee for months now and never tried any recipes with tofu....

gillian said...

this book looks amazing! i would love to learn more recipes that use subsitutes for cheese

Katie said...

I would love to win this book! Come on, pick me, my birthday's coming!

Anonymous said...

I would definitely find this book useful!

Anonymous said...

Yes!

Mary Horowitz said...

I'd LOVE to win! We're recently dairy- and gluten-free, and have found we're reaching more and more to vegan recipes to meet my food needs now. This book seems like a great starter cookbook for the newly (mostly) vegan!

Phylomina said...

Yes, yes! Of course I would... I am constantly looking for substitutes and recipes! I love to experiment and my friends and I exchange all of our creations via Facebook. The Quinoa and Lentil Pilaf looks great too... I managed to turn my nine year old niece onto Quinoa and bought a box for her... my sister asked "What do I do with it!?" I would love to give her this recipe to add to the bunch of ideas I gave her. Love this!

MichelleN said...

I'd love to win this book, it looks like it'd be a well used addition to my kitchen!

Carrie said...

Wowza, everything in this book looks so good!

radioactivegan said...

This book looks so good, and I know that it must be to get your stamp of approval!

Kelly Garbato said...

I'd love a copy, it sounds super-useful!

Vegan Foodistas said...

OOh I totally want this book! Vegan creme brulee sounds amazing and the queso...yumm!

Vegan Foodistas said...

OOh creme brulee!? Is it truly possible!? I totally want this book! These pics have my mouth watering and the queso sounds delish!

Becky said...

Thanks for the review! it sounds like a great book. I'd been eyeing it. Would love to win it!

Lee Ann said...

The amaretti and brulee are 2 things I really miss. The potatoes look good too!

VickieW said...

I would love to have this book it looks awesome and easy!

VickieW said...

I would love to have this book it looks awesome and easy!

Jen said...

I've been very interested in this book for awhile now and would love to own it!

Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Kaytee said...

AWESOME! I have really been failing at vegan cooking lately... :(
So, thanks!
katelyn.j.stephens at gmail dot com

jen said...

would love this book! just started eating vegan and have been looking at this book!

Lizzie Bordello said...

This is the kind of review that I wish everyone would do! I have been really frustrated lately with reviews that just review how the book looks, or how the recipes sound, or, so very often, just the author her/him-self. Thank you for actually cooking from it, and commenting on your actual experiences! :) And, man, could I use some of those smoky potato wedges!

HealthyKitty said...

I find myself tiring of the same old vegan recipes. This book should give me plenty of new, tasty, recipes to try!

cornfieldsandcookies said...

I've been looking at this at the bookstore for so long so its great to read a review.

Vegyogini said...

Thank you for the giveaway! I'd love a copy of this book because it contains a recipe for vegan Brie!

Megan said...

Thank you for doing this! I would LOVE to win this book!

Becky said...

What a great give-away! I've made the taco meat, and it was really quick to throw together, and had great flavor. I happened upon the recipe on Google books as well, but I'd really like to see the rest of the book ^_^

YogaWolf said...

I have been eyeing up this book since the New Year. One of my New Year's resolutions was veganism. This book looks like it would be a great read for someone starting out who needs to know the fundamentals of vegan cooking. (P.S. Sorry if this is a repeat of previous post but it said there was an error so I'm not sure if first comment worked):o)

McVic said...

Sounds like a fantastic book! I would love to have a copy of this!!

Colorado Sunflower said...

Thanks for providing all of us with a review AND the awesome photos, Carla. I am so looking forward to trying the recipes found in this book with my family! We are new to the Vegan world and I really think this would help us "veganise" our kitchen and pantry system to where we feel comfortable with what we'd have on hand. Dare I say it could turn into this newbie's Vegan bible? Can't wait to find out. Thank you so much again for being a wonderful resource :)